Having outdrank, outsmoked, and outlived all of his contemporaries in his off-the-map desert town, fiercely independent 90-year-old atheist Lucky (the late Harry Dean Stanton in his final role) finds himself unexpectedly thrust into a late-in-life journey of self-exploration. The directorial debut of acclaimed character actor John Carroll Lynch (Jackie), Lucky is a cinematic love letter to its legendary leading man Stanton, as well as a deeply felt meditation on mortality, loneliness, spirituality and human connection.
Living alone in the blistering Arizona heat, Lucky (Stanton; Seven Psychopaths) slopes along through life, occupying his time by smoking, drinking coffee, doing crosswords and walking around the dusty streets of his speck of a southwestern town. Unmoved by sentimentality and small talk, Lucky engages himself and those around him in mild ruminations on life, its value, and what it all might mean. Never maudlin but always poignant, Stanton’s gently powerful performance resonates even more in the wake of his passing this fall. A worthy final role, which evokes the simultaneous magnitude and futility of the daily details scattered throughout life, Lucky makes for an incredible showcase for Stanton’s unique mastery of the wry, cantankerous wisdom that became his trademark.
“It’s the humblest deep movie of recent years, a work in the same vein as American marginalia like Stranger Than Paradise and Trees Lounge, but with its own rhythm and color, its own emotional temperature, its own reasons for revealing and concealing things.” (Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com)
“It’s a striking debut, and the kind of outing that will invariably leave audiences wanting to see more from Lynch behind the camera in the future. But Lucky is a showcase for Stanton above all things.” (Dominick Suzanne-Mayer, Consequence of Sound)
“If only every actor we loved could leave us with a farewell film like this one.” (Stephanie Zacharek, Time)